The Most Famous Burglaries of All Time

Here at Keytek® we’re all about security and keeping you and your belongings as secure as possible but burglaries do happen and sometimes they happen on an extremely large scale… check out our blog on the top 5 most famous burglaries of all time!


The Antwerp Diamond Heist

This burglary cost a whopping £100 million!! In 2003 Leonardo Notabartolo successfully defeated 10 layers of security in the heist of all time stealing millions worth of diamonds and jewels. Notabartolo and his crew almost got away with it too as they planned this burglary for years which consisted of copying keys, fake CCTV footage and clever ways to get past the high-tech security system.

Unfortunately for Notabartolo they left behind traces of DNA and were subsequently caught back in Italy. The diamonds? They were never recovered and are still out there somewhere on the black market!


Boston Museum Heist

The most valuable theft of a private property ever, costing half a billion dollars! In this heist two men dressed as police offers attended the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum apparently responding to a disturbance call. Within an hour the two men overcame the guards and took off with 13 works of high valuable art including pieces from Rembrandt, Degas and Vermeer.

This time the fake police officers got away with it as no one was arrested for the crime and none of the pieces of artwork were recovered. What hangs in their frames now? Nothing, the empty frames still hang in the museum!


Russian Hackers

These days’ burglars no longer require a stripy t-shirt and a swag bag as a group of Russian computer hackers managed to steal an approximate of £650 million from 2014-2016 from banks all over the world!

The hackers cunningly watched the to and fro of the bank’s operations through CCTV and managed to hack them using malware and phishing scams. What’s more is that they even managed to operate ATM’s to dispense money at certain times!

The hackers managed to rob around 100 banks from over 30 different countries stealing a total of around £650 million… and they have yet to be caught!


The Central Bank of Iraq

In 2003 the largest bank heist of all time took place. Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein sent his son with a handwritten note asking to withdraw almost a billion US dollars along with three trucks to load it onto, to the Central Bank in Baghdad.

$920 million dollars were stolen but most of it was fortunately recovered after numerous raids. However, not all the American soldiers retrieving the cash were innocent as 35 of them were caught stealing some of the money!


One of the UK’s Biggest Domestic Burglaries

James Stunt, successful businessman living in London found himself £515,000 shorter after a 16.18 carat yellow diamond was stolen from his safe in his home in 2017. Fortunately, for Mr. Stunt the perpetrator was caught and refused bail.

However, the perpetrator was a little too close to home as the thief was none other than Mr. Stunt’s bodyguard! Unfortunately for Mr. Stunt this was the first in a string of financial bad luck as in 2019 he was declared bankrupt and had numerous properties repossessed.


Keytek® Locksmiths

Want to avoid being on this list yourselves? Upgrade your home security with Keytek® by finding your local Locksmith today! Like this blog? Why not check out our others including Burglary Statistics 2021 and Protect your Home like a Place: Buckingham Palace!











Burglary Statistics 2020/2021

Being broken in to is a cause for concern by most homeowners as the a burglar in your home not only puts your wellbeing at risk but your possessions and the risk of damage being caused to your home. Take a look at the burglary statistics issued by the Office for National Statistics in our blog below!


What time of day do burglaries occur?

The Office for National Statistics reports that from April 2019 to March 2020 residents were most likely to be burgled in the evening with 32% of all burglaries occurring during this time. What’s surprising is that following evening burglaries the most active time of day burglaries occur in the afternoon at 20%.

Overall 62% of burglaries took place in the evening/night time with 38% taking place during the morning/afternoon.


What day do most burglaries happen?

It comes as no surprise that burglars are more likely to target homes when it is dark outside in attempt to not be spotted. But did you know that a whopping 71% of burglaries occur during the week rather than on the weekend? Make sure you lock up after yourself when leaving for work!


76% of burglars gain entry through the door! 33% forced the lock open! 15% of doors were not locked. 6% had a key.


Where do burglars enter the home?

The Office for National Statistics reports that the majority of burglars will enter your home through the front of your property. 59% of burglars entered someone’s home at the front of the property, 33% accessed the property through the back entry way and 7% of burglars accessed a property from the side.

Of those a shocking 76% of burglars entered a property through a door. It’s shocking to hear that over ¾ of burglars enter someone’s home by using the door. 33% of burglars forced the lock open to gain access, this is why British Standard locks and Anti-Snap locks are so important.

15% of these the burglar found the door was not locked at all. Always remember to lock your front door when you leave and ensure your locks are British Standard. If you need to upgrade your locks just give your local Locksmith a call!

20% of burglars accessed the home through the window. Check out our Window Security Guide here!


Lost your keys?

Replace your locks immediately as 6% of all burglars for the year between April 2019 and March 2020 had a key to gain access to the home. If you have lost your keys or recently moved home you should call a Locksmith to replace your lock with new keys as soon as possible.


What damage does a burglar cause?

Between April 2019 and March 2020 57% of people claimed that the burglar left damage to their outside door, 26% of home burglaries ended up with a broken window and 22% were left with a damaged lock. As over 20% of burglars attack the lock to gain entry it is important you know your locks are up to scratch and have some defense mechanism such as anti-snap and anti-drill features.

22% of burglars damage the lock.


Average costs of damages caused to a property in a burglary

It is important you ensure your home insurance covers your property for things such as burglary and the damages of being burgled will cost. The Office for National Statistics reports that on average a burglar will cause £1,413 worth of damage to your property. If the burglar manages to gain entry the total cost on average amounts to £2,856 on average.


What do burglars go for?

40% of victims report that the burglar(s) stole their purse/money/cards, 32% stole jewellery and watches and 23% stole computers/computer equipment. Furthermore, 11% of burglars stole car keys and 7% stole house keys.

When you go to bed at night remember to hide your keys away in a safe place and out of reach of the doors and windows. If a burglar has stolen your keys it is vital that you get your locks changed as you never know when they may attempt to come back again. If a burglar enters your home with a key your insurance claim will be invalid.

Don’t forget to properly lock up your shed, any outbuildings and properly secure your garden furniture as 39% of people had tools stolen from an outbuilding, 34% had their garden furniture stolen and 22% had their bike/bike parts stolen! Discover our top security tips in our Home Security Guide here!


Keytek® Locksmiths

If you have been burgled or looking to upgrade your home security after discovering the shocking facts just give us a call and we will be happy to help! Find your local Locksmith here! For more security advice check out our Home Security Guide for everything you need to know!


Christmas Safety Tips 2020

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… this year will be a little different for us all and we will be staying at home much more than we would probably like but it is still important to be vigilant when it comes to your home security. It comes as no surprise that the number of burglaries spike over the festive period with many expensive presents found under the tree. Check out our top 5 Christmas Security Tips for 2020 in our blog below:


  1. Hide it away

Never leave your presents (or any valuables) in-view of the windows. Many chance burglars are tempted by the shimmering of the wrapping paper and it will instantly make your home a target.


  1. Keep quiet on social media

It may be tempting to post your present stack on social media or share your new Christmas presents online but this could tempt burglars to track down your location and attack your home. You’d be surprised how easily burglars are now able to find your home address through social media. Remember it might be warming for you to publish photos of your children opening their presents but this still gives away the valuables found in your home.


  1. Cyber security

Another type of burglary that might slip through your mind is online burglary. Online scammers are also hot on the case around Christmas time as many of us will be receiving more emails from your online shopping orders or Christmas competitions. You might be shopping online more as of late, ensure the website you order from is a secure site, look for the ‘S’ after http:// a secure site will show as https://.


Never open a link or an attachment from an email address you don’t know and remember your bank will never ask for your pin code.


  1. Christmas lights

Christmas lights outside your house are a great way to spread joy but ensure you don’t feed your cable from the inside to the outside through a crack in the window. Burglars will be looking out for such thing and it makes entering your home easy work. Try using solar Christmas lights instead, this way you do not need to feed the wires through your home and also helps save on your energy consumption too!


  1. Lock your doors and windows

We know, we say it a lot. But it can never be said enough. Always lock your doors and windows when leaving your home, at night and even just whilst you’re sitting at home. If a burglar enters your home through an unlocked door or window you can almost guarantee your insurance claim will be void.


Keytek® Locksmiths

We wish you all a happy and safe Christmas 2020. If you liked this blog why not check out our others including Winter Safety Tips 2020 and How and App can Save your Life!

Top Locksmith Tips for Landlords

As a landlord you have certain responsibilities to maintain and ensure that your property is safe for your tenants. This means up to scratch locks, regular safety checks and general maintenance. As security experts, we have put together our top tips for landlords to ensure that your property is safe!


1.    Ensure your door locks are up to the task

The first step in securing your rental property is to ensure that you have the right locks. With many different types and models on the market it can be hard to determine which locks are the best. We always recommend a lock that is up to British Standard as these locks are tested against common forced entry techniques making them more resistant to forced entry. Do bear in mind that no lock can 100% guarantee complete resistance to forced entry but higher security models can offer more endurance.

A forced entry technique that is common in burglaries across the UK is cylinder snapping. This technique involves snapping poor quality euro cylinder locks to gain access to the internal mechanism which will then allow the intruder access, to prevent this look for a model which is anti-snap. An anti-snap cylinder has a break line built in so that should the external casing be purposefully snapped it will break in a specific place that will still protect the internal mechanism, denying access to the intruder.


2.     Secure your window locks

Ground floor and accessible windows can be vulnerable so they should always be closely looked at in terms of security. Ensure that you give the same level of attention to your windows as you do to your doors in order to help secure them against potential intruders.  There are a variety of different window locks and models that will have different security features that can suit your individual needs.


3.     Don’t forget about garages, sheds and outbuildings

Any extra space to a property is always appealing, whether it’s more space for your tenants or private space for your own personal storage. You will want to make sure that the same care and attention is given to securing these extra spaces as they can often be a target for intruders. Sheds and garages are hotspots for break-ins as people tend to leave expensive tools in them unsecured. Whether you have valuables stored in these extra spaces or not, you should ensure that they are properly secured as to make them less vulnerable to attack.


4.     Make an informed decision about when changing the locks

Whenever you start a new tenancy it is always strongly recommended that you change the locks. This is because no matter how trustworthy a previous tenant might be, you will never know if any keys were made and lost or who might have an extra key. For peace of mind you should always change the locks at the end of a tenancy to secure your property.

Should you wish to change any locks at any point during a tenancy, you must give your tenant adequate notice of the lock changes. You must ensure that they have a copy of the new key before the locks are changed or when it is convenient for them, so not to leave them without access to the property which would be a break of contract.


5.     Know your property

It is always helpful to understand what will secure your type of doors and windows. Understanding the most common locking systems for your property access point can help should there be an issue and a Locksmith needs to be called in. Knowing all of the aspects of your property better will allow you to know the proper maintenance needed to care for it and keep it in the best condition.


6.     Assign an emergency Locksmith

Not everyone can be available 24/7, so it’s important to have an emergency Locksmith on hold should your tenant need security assistance. If a door, lock or window should break and a tenant cannot get in touch with a landlord, having a second number to call will allow them peace of mind but also makes the process easier for the landlord. By setting a preferred Locksmith, you can be assured that any emergency work carried out will be to a high standard and you can have an idea of what the cost will be should they be called out.


Keytek® Locksmiths

Why not check out some of our other recent blogs including Winter Safety Tips 2020 and How to Baby-Proof your Home.

Winter Safety Tips 2020

As the colder weather draws in and brings freezing temperatures, snow, ice and a whole host of other things that can make your daily life that little bit more complicated it is important to be vigilant about your safety and security. Our winter safety tips include things you can do for your doors and windows, your home, your car and how to keep yourself safe during the winter of 2020.


Winter Safety Tips for your Windows and Doors

Keeping your windows and doors in good nick is vital over the winter as any drafts can be fatal and getting locked out in the freezing cold is no fun game!
Draught proof your windows and doors

  • Weather Stripping: Weather Strips are an easy and inexpensive way to help prevent the drafts entering your home. The simplest type consists of a roll of foam with a sticky backing that you simply stick to where it needs to be.


  • Door Sweep: A Door Sweep fits to the bottom of your door and helps seal the gap between the door and the threshold. This allows less heat to escape as well as protecting it from other things such as dust and insects.


  • Draught Excluder: Another simple, easy and effective way to keep draughts entering your home is to add a draught excluder. This is just a long, rectangular cushion that you place at the bottom of your doors.


Sticking Door

Changes in the weather can cause your doors to expand and contract and prevents your door from working as it should. It may be a case that your hinges need loosening or tightening but it is always best to call a professional in to ensure you don’t accidentally put your security at risk.



  • Frozen Locks: Over the winter, more moisture enters your locks and if it is cold enough cause them to freeze. Never put hot water on your doors or locks in the winter, unfreeze them with a lighter or hairdryer if you can!


  • Dirt in Locks: Another reason your locks might be faulty is due to a build-up of dirt inside the lock. You can attempt to take the lock off to clean it yourself but only if you feel capable to as you do not want to damage your lock and leave your home vulnerable to break-ins or void your home insurance. If you need a Locksmith find your local Locksmith here!


Winter Safety Tips for your Home

Spending a few minutes to check over the security of your home for the winter period will save you a whole lot of hassle further down the line should something go wrong.

  • Locate your stop tap: so you can turn it off should your pipes freeze and burst.


  • Bleed your radiators: if you have noticed that your radiators are getting hot at the bottom but not at the top it is time to bleed your radiators.


  • Gutters and Drains: Clear your gutters and drains to prevent flooding and damp issues.


  • Pipes: add lagging to your exposed pipes to prevent them from freezing over, including your outdoor taps.


  • Roof: check your roof over for any damages to prevent leaks and draughts.



Winter Safety Tips for your Vehicle

Your vehicle needs a little bit of extra attention during the cold months and so does your attention to the roads when travelling. Take a look at our top vehicle winter safety tips below:

  • Lights: ensure all of your lights are in good working order, as you’ll need them more often. If don’t know already, located your fog light for when visibility is bad.


  • Tyres: check your tyre tread depth, look for damages in the tyres and add snow chains where necessary.


  • Exhaust Pipe: clear any snow or debris from your exhaust pipe. A blocked exhaust pipe can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.


  • Fuel, Oil & Water: check the levels of each of these. Insufficient levels can cause freezing over, talking of which add anti-freeze to your windscreen wash!


  • Emergency Kit: add or replenish an emergency kit to your vehicle. Your emergency kit can be life-saving if you are stuck on a cold, snowy night. It should include water, snacks, a blanket, and change of clothes, first aid kit, torch, batteries and a phone charger.


  • Heaters: ensure your heaters are working in your vehicle, not only to keep you warm whilst travelling but to clear your windshield when condensation builds.


  • Travelling: plan your journey well ahead of time, check the weather reports and stick to the main roads where they will have more than likely been gritted where needed.


Personal Wellbeing

Keeping yourself safe over the winter period is just as important as all the other factors we have mentioned. Remember the following during the next few months:

  • Hypothermia: to avoid hypothermia try to keep your body warm by moving about regularly, drink lots of warm drinks, eat substantial meals and wear lots of thin layers to keep your body temperature over 35 degrees. Remember to check in on your elderly loved ones and neighbours over this period as they are more susceptible to hypothermia and at a higher risk of death.


  • Snow and ice: avoid paths where snow and ice are more prevalent such as alleyways and short cuts, it is not worth slipping over and injuring yourself.


  • Covid-19: it is vital that we all do our bit to keep the spread of infection under control. The virus has a higher spread rate over the winter as more people are likely to be sneezing and coughing from colds and flu. Remember hands, face, space.


Keytek Locksmiths

Did you like this blog? Why not check out some of our others including Best Burglar Alarms and 5 Things to do Whilst in Lockdown: Security Edition!



How to Baby-Proof your Home!

Bringing home a newborn baby is an exciting time and you want to make sure that your home is safe to receive your new bundle of joy. The best way to make sure your home is safe is to baby proof your home; ideally well in advance of your due date.

Whether a newborn or a toddler, there are some steps you might need to take to make your home the safest it can be. However, keep in mind that these suggestions are by no means exhaustive and you should always do your research and consult professionals to any extra precautions you should make.


General baby-proofing tips


  • Install a carbon monoxide detector on every level of your house if you have oil and/or gas appliances, alongside smoke detectors on every level. Check out our carbon monoxide guide here! 
  • Ensure your smoke detectors are in good working order, there should be at least one on each floor. Find out smoke detector guide here!
  • Check the batteries of all detectors.
  • Have either a fire blanket and/or fire extinguisher, and know how to use it.
  • Keep a first aid kit
  • Keep a note of all the emergency numbers
  • Put non-slip pads under all the rugs


Baby-Proofing the Kitchen

In the kitchen there are many every items that can be dangerous to your little ones, most are obvious but there are those that we don’t think about.

kitchen graphic

Unplug any electrical appliances not in use such as irons, kettles and grills etc.

Not only does it help save on energy wastage, but it ensures that when not in use they are not conducting heat which could potentially harm you child if they touch it.


Store your handbag, and those of any visitors, out of reach.

Something as simple as a pen cap could be very dangerous if swallowed, and you never know what could have been left in your bag or that of your visitor. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. By tucking any bags at the back of the kitchen counter or in a cupboard, it helps to reduce the risk of little hands grabbing something potentially dangerous.


Lock sharp objects, toxic substances and chemicals away in secure cupboards.

You don’t have to go all out and place child locks on every draw and cupboard but storing the items that are dangerous to everyone away in secured cupboards is always a smart thing to do. Once your baby starts to crawl and when toddlers become more curious they won’t understand that something may be harmful. To help eliminate the threat you can lock them in with child proof locks, securing them away from your children.


Consider getting rid of tablecloths and hanging objects within reach.

Tablecloths and cords can be pulled and tugged on, which doesn’t sound dangerous but can pose a real threat. If the dining table was set with crockery; plates, knives and forks and glasses with a child tugging on the tablecloth, it could mean that the whole spread could come crashing down on that child.


Baby-Proofing the Lounge

vector graphic of a lounge highlighting baby proof ideas

1. Secure all loose furniture by placing it behind larger pieces of furniture

2. Cover all unused plug sockets with protectors

3. Cover sharp corners with bumpers or safety padding; if its hit it will still hurt but will cause less damage.

4. Hide any cords or wires behind casing or furniture.

5. Ensure that any blinds have safety tassels and cord stops to tuck away the cords; also consider getting rid of any with looped cords.


Baby-Proofing the Nursery

nursery graphic

  • Place baby wipes and supplies where you can reach them but the baby can’t.
  • Remove cot mobiles with long cords; to avoid the baby from grabbing at them.
  • Keep the cot apart from any other furniture, including shelves or objects that could fall on your baby
  • Finish all painting/wallpapering at least 8 weeks before your due date to air out any potentially harmful fumes
  • Ensure that the cot slats are more than two and 3/8 inches apart with the bolts and screws tightly fastened.
  • Ensure there are no gaps between the mattress and cot.
  • Keep bumpers, blankets, comforters, pillows and toys out of the cot when the baby is in there.
  • Ensure that all furniture is built correctly and in line with instructions and safety measures.


Keytek® Locksmiths

There are many more things you can do to secure your home before the baby arrives and you’ll probably need to re-assess when your baby starts maneuvering around. If you liked our blog on baby-proofing your home why not check out How an App can save your Life and Protect your Home like a Palace: Buckingham Palace!

How an App can save your Life! What3Words

The Police, Fire and Rescue, Ambulance services and Coastguards up and down the UK are all using it. The simple but ingenious little app that can help save your life: What3Words.

slurs.this.shark no this isn’t a typo! These three seemingly random words give you the exact location of 10 Downing Street! Find out more below:


What is What 3 Words?

What3Words is a free app that provides users with an exact location within a 3mx3m radius. The inventors realised that using three individual words together was enough information to provide a unique location to every 3m2 space in the world!


How is What3Words Used?

What3Words has been used in inventive ways across the world since its launch in 2013 from deliveries to hiking tours but most importantly What3Words has been used to save lives. By providing the emergency services with the three words that are shown up on the app they will be able to find your exact location immediately. This is extremely effective in an emergency where time is of the essence.

The BBC reported how the operator advised a couple to download What3Words after they became lost for over three hours in almost 5,000 acre woodland in County Durham. They stated that within a minute the local police had found them and were able to send rescue! As well as this a 65 year old man was located using What3Words after falling down a railway embankment, a woman who had crashed her car and it was even used to safely rescue a victim in a hostage situation!

As well as incredible life-saving uses, What3Words is now used by Mercedes Benz and the Lonely Planet, wow!


How to Use What3Words in an Emergency!

Using What3Words in an emergency couldn’t be easier:

  1. Open What3Words app on your mobile phone, the app works offline too if you find yourself without a data connection.
  2. Tap the location button in the top right corner.
  3. Share your three unique words with the call handler who will identify your exact location and send help!


Check out the What3Words YouTube tutorial here:


Who Created What3Words and Why?

What3Words is an app created by Chris Sheldrick, a musician who had enough of turning up to the wrong venues in rural areas where the postcodes or Google Maps couldn’t provide him with the exact location he needed. He tried asking others to use the longitude and latitudes of the location but it didn’t work so well and providing someone with 16 numbers can go wrong very easily. After sitting down with his friend Mohan Ganesalingam, a mathematician they devised an initial plan as to how What3Words might work. Another friend Jack Waley-Cohen a friend who is able to translate was brought into the picture and with the brain power of these three, What3Words was born!


Keytek® Locksmiths Blog

Your security is our priority here at Keytek® Locksmiths. If you enjoyed reading this blog on the life saving app, What3Words we think you’ll enjoy our other blogs including How to Know when to Change your Locks and The Most Secure Homes in the World.